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Design and modeling of an ultra-wideband low-noise distributed amplifier in InP DHBT technology

T. Shivan1, E. Kaule2, M. Hossain1, R. Doerner1, T. Johansen3, D. Stoppel1, S. Boppel1, W. Heinrich1, V. Krozer1,4 and M. Rudolph1,2

Published in:

Int. J. Microwave Wireless Technolog., vol. 11, no. 7, pp. 635-644 (2019).


This paper reports on an ultra-wideband low-noise distributed amplifier (LNDA) in a transferred-substrate InP double heterojunction bipolar transistor (DHBT) technology which exhibits a uniform low-noise characteristic over a large frequency range. To obtain very high bandwidth, a distributed architecture has been chosen with cascode unit gain cells. Each unit cell consists of two cascode-connected transistors with 500 nm emitter length and ft/fmax of ∼360/492 GHz, respectively. Due to optimum line-impedance matching, low common-base transistor capacitance, and low collector-current operation, the circuit exhibits a low-noise figure (NF) over a broad frequency range. A 3-dB bandwidth from 40 to 185 GHz is measured, with an NF of 8 dB within the frequency range between 75 and 105 GHz. Moreover, this circuit demonstrates the widest 3-dB bandwidth operation among all reported single-stage amplifiers with a cascode configuration. Additionally, this work has proposed that the noise sources of the InP DHBTs are largely uncorrelated. As a result, a reliable prediction can be done for the NF of ultra-wideband circuits beyond the frequency range of the measurement equipment.

1 Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH), Berlin, Germany
2 Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU), Cottbus, Germany
3 Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
4 Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany


InP DHBT; distributed amplifier; low noise amplifier; travelling wave; ultra-wideband amplifier; cascode.

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